Oh gods. I know that sound. Maybe it won’t happen again. I can roll over and go back to sleep; it’s cold and dark, but Pace is right here, so warm and cozy…
Well, crap. There it is again. If we don’t do something about it now, it’ll keep going. My sleep has been blasted into irretrievable fragments as it is, so maybe…
Pace responds, waking up and grumbling. “Since every time one of these has gone off, there hasn’t been a fire, maybe they need to be called “there’s-not-really-a-fire alarms”. WAKE UP WAKE UP THERE’S NOT A FIRE!” I giggle, she grumbles. She rolls out of bed and goes into the kitchen, retrieves the step-stool, pops the fire alarm off the ceiling and disables it, tossing it onto the table and climbing back into bed.
The not-a-fire alarm didn’t protect us from anything. It went off at 4:30a, when we were sleeping, one sleep-shattering beep every few minutes – at a random interval, no less – until we, inevitably, pulled it off the ceiling and disabled it. Now it’s laying on the table, case open, battery gone, unable to protect us at all. At one point, we had three there’s-not-really-a-fire alarms on the table, cases open, batteries out, all at once – all of which went off in the wee hours while we were sleeping.
If they’d gone off at mid-day, we would have just replaced the batteries while we had the step-stool right there. But since they went off in the middle of the night, and we had to include getting up, stumbling around in the dark, and trying to go back to sleep in the process, they wound up on the table, useless, for weeks. (I’m sure you know how such things get procrastinated.)
It’s creating apathy and increasing danger. If the alarms go off when there isn’t a fire, we either ignore or disable them – and then there’s nothing left to protect us if there ever is a fire.
If the alarms had sensors or timers inside them to recognize that the battery is low and to beep in the evening, when most people are home having dinner, I imagine that more lives would stay safe. You get up, change the battery, and move on. There’s far less risk of it being ignored – or worse, disabled and battery-less for weeks. We’d be more protected by the devices put here to protect us in the first place.
What are the things in your life that you put there to protect you? What systems have you put in place that you now ignore every time they alert you?
How can you refresh them or renew them so they do what you need them to do?